Gudjonsson's wonder strike lifts Leicester

Blackpool 0 - Leicester City 1
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The Independent Football

Wild evenings in Blackpool are not always confined to the centre of town, as Leicester City discovered last night, but the Championship side eventually prevailed at a wet and windswept Bloomfield Road to confirm their place in the fourth round.

Wild evenings in Blackpool are not always confined to the centre of town, as Leicester City discovered last night, but the Championship side eventually prevailed at a wet and windswept Bloomfield Road to confirm their place in the fourth round.

A trip to Reading is their reward but the surrounds of the Madejski Stadium will represent a welcome relief after this. The game was decided by a stunning first-half drive by Joey Gudjonsson that was entirely out of keeping in a match bereft of quality due to the conditions.

Despite the willingness of the home crowd, the League One side, currently just outside the relegation places, were unable to impose themselves on Leicester, who rarely looked like conceding.

As the wind swept across Bloomfield Road it was the home side who warmed to the task more quickly. But on 16 minutes, and without any sense of warning, Leicester went ahead. Simon Grayson, playing against his former team, could only partially clear as the ball fell to Gudjonsson, close to the centre circle. The midfielder advanced before letting fly from fully 30 yards, leaving 18-year-old Lewis Edge in the Blackpool goal with little chance to make a name for himself. The following wind only hastened the ball's arrow-like progress into the top corner.

With the home side's initial enthusiasm dampened, Leicester were comfortable for the remainder of the opening period. James Scowcroft should have doubled their advantage on the half-hour with a free header from six yards.

Blackpool's only chance of note before the break fell to Simon Lynch, who shot straight at Ian Walker after Peter Clarke's initial attempt rebounded to him eight yards out. The second half continued in the same vein with Mark McGregor fortunate not to be shown a red card for hauling down Keith Gillespie.

A Keigan Parker free-kick provided a rare moment of hope for the boisterous home support to feed on but Walker, making his first appearance since injuring his knee in August, was able to watch the ball past the post. It proved to be Blackpool's last chance as they failed for the 15th consecutive season to reach the fourth round.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Edge; Clare, Clarke, McGregor, Edwards; Bullock, Southern, Grayson (Wellens, 67), Coid (Shaw, 60); Parker, Lynch (Warhurst, 78). Substitutes not used: Evans, Burns.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Walker; Maybury, Dabizas, Heath, Stewart; Gillespie, Williams, Gudjonsson, Scowcroft; Dublin (Nalis, 70), Connolly (Wright, 80). Substitutes not used: Pressman (gk), Keown, Nakin.

Referee: T Kettle (Berkshire).

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